Monday, December 31, 2007

all the way from American Samoa

~updated with some more pictures of our time spent together today~
This little cutie is coming over to play this morning. He and his mom & sisters are in town visiting from American Samoa, and I got the privilege of having him in my Bible Class. Today they're coming over to visit for a little bit. I asked if it would too weird for them to put their arms around each other for the picture. They agreed it would be too weird! Funny how 8 year old little boys think, huh?!?! I think Gracie would have done it! She's so used to having "friends who are boys" that she's grown up with that I don't think she would have thought too much of it. Colt on the other hand, being an 8 year old boy, wasn't too sure about the idea. Which is okay with her father, I'm sure! :-)

Philip, I told Jaime I would put on my blog, with the hopes that you'll read it, that Colt put you in our class prayer journal yesterday. He wanted me to put in there a request that you wouldn't be too lonely. Very sweet!
Here's the whole gang: Colt, Gracie, Katie, Ally, & Julia Colt & Gracie picked up like they play together all the time. I was a little afraid they might not connect since I thought their interests might be really different. However, they seemed to have a great time. Gives me hope for a future marriage one day perhaps?!?! :-) They enjoyed looking at the new anatomy book Gracie got, along with a cool one that shows the brain lighting up and you can hear the heart beating.
Here they were playing basketball in the backyard. Neither one of them have been gifted with height, but they still had fun!
Katie thought Julia was her very own live baby doll. They got along great together....most of the time anyway! :-)
We enjoyed visiting with them and look forward to having them come back again this summer!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

~Merry Christmas 2007~

~updated with a pic of Gramps & Gramme~

Christmas 2007 has come & gone, and it's been a good one! I hope it has been good for all of my blog friends as well.

We picked up Chris's parents at the airport the Friday before Christmas, and the girls have really enjoyed having grandparents around for a whole week! My parents also came & stayed Monday & Tuesday, although they did stay in a hotel at night. So, the girls had all 4 grandparents here which makes for some happy, perhaps spoiled, little girls!

Christmas Eve, we enjoyed enchiladas made by my mother-in-law. This has become somewhat of a tradition for us if we're together. She makes them New Mexico style-flat with a fried egg on top-quite yummy!

Christmas morning was exciting for the girls of course! Gracie is wise to the whole Santa thing, but not Katie of course, and it's still fun to "play Santa" even if they are wise to it. So....Santa left Katie a Little Einstein "Pat Pat Rocket" and Gracie got "Molly"-one of the American Girl dolls. I had gone back & forth on whether or not to "invest" in Molly. After seeing Gracie's expression and the thankfulness & awe she had upon seeing her, I think I'd buy her all of them if she wanted them! I don't think the picure accurately shows her face, but when she saw Molly sitting in the chair, she raised her hands to her mouth in awe, and I really think she had tears in her eyes-which made me get tears in my eyes of course! I think she came & hugged me and then hugged Chris before she even actually went to play with the doll. She has expressed her extreme thankfulness multiple times since Christmas morning! She truly does love her-and they look so similar-so cute! Both girls got many gifts from us & other family members as well of course.

We had kind of a "snacky" Christmas breakfast then some snacky things mid-day then our "big" dinner later that afternoon. We went a little off tradition and had brisket, mashed potatoes, baked beans, rolls, & salad. It was good!

We actually put up all the Christmas stuff today. While we had my in-laws here, we figured we'd take advantage of the help and get it all put away. Tonight, Chris & I are going on a date! Below are some pictures of the festivities!

Putting out reindeer foodsnuggling down Christmas Evebeing woken up Christmas morningtrying out her new scooter
one of Gracie's funny gifts-a horse glasses holder!

happy with Grammer & Pappyhappy with Gramps & Gramme too!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

one of Santa's elves

On Thursdays, we usually go to playgroup at the church building. We've had playgroup for years-held in different places, held on different days, attended by different people, etc. For the last little while, it's been held at the church building and there are usually 3 or 4 moms there with probably about 6-9 children-sometimes less, sometimes many more. Whenever we get there, if her friends aren't there yet, Katie Boo likes to go see "Miss Debbie," our church secretary. She loves Miss Debbie because she is so sweet to her and plays "horsie" and holds her in her lap and just makes her feel special.

One day, Miss Debbie had this great Christmas hat. When you push the button, it plays a song called, "We are Santa's Elves" and it dances. Katie thought this hat was the best thing in the world. It was so funny watching the amusement on her face and seeing her enjoy this thing. Pure joy! Our minister, Mr. Mark, and one of our elders, Mr. Ben, were there and I think they enjoyed watching her too.

One day, I told Katie to tell someone about Miss Debbie's hat. She started telling them, but she said something like, "Miss Debbie got me a hat........" I interrupted her and said, "No, Katie. It's not your hat. It's Miss Debbie's hat." The look on her face was one of such sadness & confusion. It almost brought me to tears. She was completely devastated. We quickly got her to go on with the story because we were afraid she was going to cry. A week or so later, I saw Miss Debbie and told her about what had happened. She told Katie that it could be her hat. I assumed she just meant that we could just tell Katie that it was her hat-not actually give it to her.

Well, last Thursday, we had our kids' Christmas party for church. We all met at a senior citizen home and sang carols & passed out candy canes and then went to McDonald's to eat lunch. As we were getting into the car to go to McDonald's, Miss Debbie, who had come along for the caroling, came to the car, handed Katie the hat and said, "Merry Christmas!" You should have seen Katie's face light up!

I just love it when people are sweet to my children!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas party!

I must post the obilgatory school Christmas party picture. I was a little nervous about the party because I had kind of planned it and I felt I wasn't terribly creative with my planning. Also, due to family illness, Mrs. Zimmerman wasn't there today and I didn't know what kind of substitute would be in the room. The sub ended up being one of the aides who works in the school, and she seemed very good. Gracie said something about her being, "a little strict on the talking though," to which I replied that that is probably a good thing!

So many parents contributed items for the party which was very appreciated. We also had 5 parents in addition to myself come help. We read a cute book, "Mooseltoe," (which they had read just today in library!), but most of them seemed to enjoy it again. They ate, we unscrambled some Christmas words, played Christmas bingo, sang some songs (which was not entirely successful!), and colored a moose picture to look like the one in the story. The rest of the time was spent chatting & packing up for a 2 WEEK SCHOOL VACATION!

I had cleaned house this morning so I was pretty tired after doing that and then doing the party, so I napped this afternoon. Chris had gotten off work early so he could pick up Katie from Mother's Day Out.

This picture just makes me laugh a little because have you ever seen more typical 2nd grade boys?! Believe me, they act like it too! I guess it makes me smile a little because it reminds me of some of my former students.
A funny thing Gracie said about Santa: "He could go on Biggest Loser!" We were reading a book called "Santa's Stuck" where Santa ate so many treats that he got stuck in the chimney. I said something about him needing to go on a diet and Gracie laughed and made the comment about him going on Biggest Loser. Guess what finale we're watching tonight?!??!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Silent Night via violin

Tonight was the big night-Gracie's 1st violin recital! It was so fun, and she did well. I was so proud watching her up there! I look forward to many more recitals in the years to come. She wants to take lessons again next semester, and I'm very glad she's enjoying it. She had brought a rose for her teacher then was happy to receive a rose from her teacher, too! Her daddy gave her some flowers afterwards too. We then traveled to Shoney's where we enjoyed dinner. It wasn't great, but Gracie was happy. Gracie with Miss Diana
getting set up on stagetaking her bow after the performance
Our doctor's appointment went really well today-yippee! He told us he would try to listen for the heartbeat but at 11 weeks it is sometimes hard to hear so not to worry if we don't hear it. I was thinking, "don't worry?!!?" He then continued with, "but if we don't hear it, we'll do an ultrasound. We won't let you leave without reassuring you." *whew* However, as soon as he put the thing on me, we heard the heartbeat! We even heard a couple of "blips" which he said was the baby moving. Yea! Everything is going great! I'll go back at 16 weeks for the "big" ultrasound. With the girls, we didn't find out what we were having. This time, we're getting quite a bit of pressure from friends to find out. We can't decide. The suspense at delivery of not knowing is so fun!
Gracie came home from school today with the cutest Christmas book. She wrote about her favorite Christmas tradition, a Christmas memory, and her favorite time of the year. I love that she did this; this is the kind of thing I will treasure forever!
On the 2nd day of Christmas, their daddy gave to them one small wooden tic-tac-toe game and one wooden airplane. Gracie is writing a letter to a friend right now on her stationery from yesterday, and Katie wore her Spiderman watch to the recital tonight. Gracie=pearls. Katie=Spiderman watch. Yep. That's my 2 girls!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me......a Spiderman watch?!?!

A few years ago, Chris started doing the "12 Days of Christmas" for the girls. Each day they get a little stocking stuffer type gift: mainly Dollar Tree & Target $1 Spot type things. Today was the first day and the girls were excited!
Here is Chris explaining to Katie how her gifts are all wrapped in the blue paper and today's gift says, "K1," so tomorrow's will say "K2," etc.
Ready to tear into them!
Katie is still opening while Gracie is already admiring her Hello Kitty stationery set.
Look at the delight on her face! It's a Spiderman watch from the Dollar Tree! Whoo hoo!
Yes, my little angel loves Spiderman and is thrilled to have her new watch!
Tomorrow is Gracie's violin recital. She's nervous & we're excited! We told her she could choose where to go eat afterwards. We knew this would be risky. Sure enough, she has chosen......Shoney's! For some reason, the girl always wants to go to Shoney's and we rarely give in to her on this. Since it will be her "special night," we will go. I mean, it's not like it's an awful place to go....I can just think of better places to go! LOL
We also have our next doctor's visit tomorrow morning!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

our new dog!

The Christmas holidays are upon us and I'm sitting here next to my baby who has been sick this weekend. My first baby that is. It started in the middle of the night Friday night when Katie started "frowing up" in her bed. She threw up twice and was quite hot. I guess about 4:00, Chris put her back to bed and she slept the rest of the night. The next morning, she seemed to feel fine-maybe a little hot-but was acting like her normal, crazy self. Only now, Gracie said her tummy felt bad, her head really hurt, and she was now hot. That's what you call sharing between sisters! They did both get the "flu mist" this past week so it could possibly side effects from that-who knows?!?!

Gracie never has actually thrown up, thankfully, but she is still feeling "icky" to use her own medical term. Once she takes Motrin, she'll feel better but then gets down again although today has been somewhat better than yesterday. I'm thinking I may keep her home tomorrow so she can get some strength back. When she is sick she gets really lethargic and just lays around, poor thing.

Chris wasn't feeling great yesterday either, so we arranged for him to stay home this morning while Katie & I went to church. Tonight, I'm staying home with Gracie while Katie & Daddy go to church. I have been taping multiple Christmas movies from the Hallmark channel, so we're watching one now.
Last Saturday, Chris & I went on a progressive dinner with friends from church. I guess there were about 14 of us. It was a lot of fun, and the girls enjoyed staying home with someone from church who was nice enough to come babysit so we could enjoy our evening.

We started out at one house for appetizers where we enjoyed "bacon balls" (think sausage balls except made with bacon instead of sausage), brownies, little roll-up sandwiches, etc. We then traveled to another house where we ate salad, potato soup, and some ate broccoli cheese soup. We enjoyed "Chicken Marsala," some wonderful green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls & some had sweet potatoes at a different house for our entree. Last, but not least, we traveled to another house for desserts where I enjoyed some "buck-eyes." There were other desserts available, but honestly, I was stuffed by that point!

We also watched some people play Wii and we exchanged gifts. Gifts that we found in our house but didn't particularly want. The funniest thing is that the gift we got was a stone dog. We brought it home and placed it under the Christmas tree. Guess what happened next? Katie fell in love with our stone dog! She named it "Done" (rhymes with "cone") She was eating a doughnut when she "met" the dog, so naturally, thinking like Katie thinks, she named the dog, "Done"-short for doughnut I guess! Gracie wanted to name it Husky though, so the dog officially has 2 names. It's not uncommon to see play food in front of the dog. Isn't it funny the things that make our kids happy?!?!?
This last Friday night, we went to a local church where we watched their Living Christmas Tree production and ate a late dinner with friends afterwards. Yesterday, we didn't do a whole lot because of the sickness in the house, although Chris did go grocery shopping.

I've gotten some Christmas shopping done, but alas, there is always more to do!

I have my next doctor's appointment this Friday. Hard to believe it's already time for another one. I look forward to it, but being who I am, I am nervous and would appreciate any prayers that this little one will still be growing as he/she should be. Crazy to think that next Christmas we'll have a baby in the house! Crazy, but fun!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Family Tree

Wow! For me, it's been a long time since I've blogged. I just haven't had the desire to do so lately. I'll think about something to blog, but I just don't get around to doing it. You would think that maybe my house is perfectly clean because I've been doing that instead. Alas, you would be wrong!

I did want to blog about Gracie's family history project she did for school. I've talked before about how much I love the activities Mrs. Zimmerman does. She really focuses on things that get the kids to think and be creative and she links different subjects together. She & I sat and talked about this earlier in the week when I was helping her in the classroom. She said she just can't teach the other way because she's miserable (read the textbook, answer the questions, etc.) As a parent, I love that she does the more fun things while still hitting on the standards that the kids need. I think the kids need to know how to read the textbook and answer the questions and she does give them those kinds of assignments, but she throws in these fun ones as well which I love!

She sent home a letter saying that they are studying history as part of social studies and one of their reading stories this week is about how stories are told and retold as part of history. She plans for this project to be helpful in the social studies unit and to support the reading story. She wanted the kids to interview us and other family members about our family's heritage and then they will present their findings on Friday.

She left it up to them as to how they will present the information. That's another thing I love because I feel this lets the different kids show their creativity. They could write a story or make a family tree. I'm sure anything would be okay. Grading is based on participation. I'm sure some kids will bring 1 picture and and that will be it while others will really "get into it."

Gracie wanted to do a family tree so we spent time on the phone this weekend & week talking to the grandparents to find out important information. (Click on the picture to make it bigger.) Gracie was disappointed that everyone (back to her great-grandparents) were all originally from the U.S. so we went a little farther back and found someone who had come from an area now known as France and we found some Indian blood on both sides of the family. Chris's great-grandfather fought against Pancho Villa & lived to be 102 years old so that was pretty impressive to her as well.

She worked hard on her family tree, had fun, and learned something as well. I think that's a successful project!

Another thing Mrs. Z is doing this week is that she is reading books by Patricia Polacco who is my very, very, very favorite children's author! I have 26 of her books, and they're all very special. I sent some to school to share with the class as well as I sent a list of all of them to Mrs. Z in case she wants to borrow more of them. You may not be familiar with her books, but she tells many family stories in her books and they're just beautiful! Many of them bring me to tears easily. An interesting thing to me about how much I like them is that a lot of her stories have to do with Jewish families celebrating Hanukkah which is something I don't know much of anything about, but the stories are told with such love and there is such an emphasis on family tradition and love for family & friends. "The Trees of the Dancing Goats" is a Christmas one that focuses on 2 families-one which celebrates Hanukkah & one which celebrates Christmas and how they help each other one year with their celebrations. Truly beautiful stories-check them out!